Winter 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 Fiction |

The Still Sea

When one sleeps in a house by the see, one's window open to the sea, the crashing and rolling and gasping and sighing come in, right into the room, on the inshore night wind, until the whole black floor is deep with it and the bed rocking. The house sails too in the wind, even in late August, flimsy, the door-frames judder. It is hardly a house really; more of a bungalow. One has been lent it; it has only three rooms, and one is alone in it. Twenty-seven is too old for a virgin. She slept so, and it was like that. Sleeping, waking, waking, sleeping, without due difference. Sometimes the moon would be out, casting the wardrobe and the pier glass in fitful aluminum. Or, a lake in the clouds, in steady silver. She lay on her back, head pillowed on hair on hands, picking apart the strands of the sea noises. Now it was darkness. The doorknobs rattled as if the darkness were shaking them, trying to get in. Her hair was thick, and oily. The sea noise is of two parts, mainly: the rhythm

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